Traveling with hearing loss or hearing aids may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Planning ahead and knowing how to prepare for a trip is the key to making it a great experience. Take a look at some tips to get the most out of your trips.
Traveling With Hearing Loss Checklist
- Plan Arrangements in Advance. Planning all travel arrangements in advance will help you avoid any potential hiccups later.
- Book Online. If possible, try to complete bookings online. This includes prices, dates and your actual reservations. Having your information in writing will make it easier to show people your travel info is correct.
- Inquire About Hearing Impaired Provisions. Find out if where you’re staying has any provisions for the hearing impaired. If not, it may be worth checking somewhere else.
- Pack Accordingly. Take any necessary equipment with you. This includes packing extra batteries and bringing the right cleaning supplies for your hearing aids. Also, be sure to pack all your hearing-related items in your carry-on luggage, as this will help minimize your risk of loss. If you have an extra set of hearing aids, you may want to bring those as well.
- Check Your Phone’s Travel Restrictions. Make sure you’re able to both send and receive text messages abroad. In addition, be sure to request any travel updates to alert you via text.
- Use Online Resources. Google Translate is a great way to help ease communication abroad. In order to make common requests easier, just type a few common phrases and Google Translate will automatically translate them. A free app is also available for your smartphone.
- Use Maps. Having a map handy will help make it easier to find your way around or ask for directions, especially when you might have a hard time understanding the locals otherwise.
- Remind Staff That You’re Hearing Impaired. Because you may have trouble hearing a knock on the door, a phone ring or the alarm clock in your room, it’s important to notify hotel staff of your hearing loss in order to make special arrangements.
- Have Your Hearing Aids Checked Beforehand. Before leaving on any trip, make sure your hearing aids are working properly by having them checked by a hearing care professional. Remember to also ask for a referral to a hearing professional in the location you plan on traveling to.
- Ask for Help When Needed. Ask tour guides and other professionals for help when needed. After all, that’s why they’re there.
When Traveling by Car...
Make sure passengers are aware you’re hearing impaired and look for cars that have Bluetooth technology to make it easier to receive calls without having to answer a phone while driving.
When Traveling by Plane...
Inform the flight staff that you're hearing impaired. Also, consider reserving an aisle seat to help ease communication between you and your flight attendants. Hearing aids and other listening devices are able to be worn during airport security screenings and are allowed to stay on during the duration of your flight, so there's no need to power them off during takeoff and landing.